CEQA EIR Required? Land Use and Planning – Conflict with LUP’s, Coastal Access

IX. LAND USE AND PLANNING – Would the project:

a) Physically divide an established community?

b) Conflict with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan, specific plan, local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect?

c) Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan?

Draft Land Use and Planning Sec IX August 22 2018

 

LAND USE AND PLANNING

 

Would the project:

 

  1. a) Physically divide an established community?
  2. b) Conflict with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan, specific plan, local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect?
  3. c) Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan?

 

Executive Summary

There are currently more than 1,500 Rooms illegally for Rent from STRs/Home Stays than are allowed by the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Big Sur Land Use Plan , and the Carmel Area Land Use Plan.

 

Visitors – tourists – are most certainly welcome in Monterey County. 

 

o      This is a jewel we all share.  But there are limits to what the area can accommodate before it is overrun.  The Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance both vastly exceed the limits contemplated and enshrined in the LUP’s which were designed to protect this area both for residents and visitors.  A careful balance was and is required.

 

o      The Carmel Area State Parks recently stated,[1] “The 1979 Point Lobos State Reserve and Carmel River State Beach General Plan recognized that dramatic changes had occurred since the Reserve and State Beach were established as public lands decades earlier. Visitation had grown considerably, risking damage to “one of the most beautiful spots in the world.” Landscapes were shifting with the encroachment of Monterey pine forest into coastal meadows. Parking problems were increasing on the Caltrans highway right-of-way of SR 1 at both Point Lobos State Reserve and Monastery Beach (then called San Jose Creek Beach), causing local traffic congestion and safety issues. At that time, the public expressed the strong desire to protect the native qualities of the coast, including its scenery, habitats, wildlife, and “quietness.”

 

Dramatic changes affecting the parks have continued since 1979. Visitation to the Reserve, recorded in the 1979 plan as 270,000 people per year, now exceeds 500,000 visitors arriving by auto, plus potentially several hundred thousand additional walk-in visitors. Point Lobos has become popular with both national and international tourists. Carmel River State Beach has become another popular destination, including for special events such as weddings, which take advantage of the spectacular scenery.   . .  . Public input  . . . emphasized the urgent need to address how the unique resources of the parks are being “loved to death.”

 

 

Free International Advertising for STR’s to Hundreds of Millions of People Did not Exist When the LUP’s were Written, and Has Created a Flood of Commercial Hotel Businesses in Residential Areas.

 

o      STRs/Home Stays that are illegal[2] under Title 20 and Title 21, are advertised internationally to hundreds millions of customers on sites like Air BnB and VRBO.  When drafted and approved the internet based STR industry did not exist.  STR’s and other home rentals were advertised through local newspapers, and locally by a small number of real estate agencies.[3]

 

 

98% of the 1700 STR/Home Stays in Monterey County are Illegal

 

o      There are currently 20 legal and more than 1,500 Rooms illegally for Rent from STRs/Home Stays than are allowed by the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Big Sur Land Use Plan, and the Carmel Area Land Use Plan.

 

o      The number of STR/Home Stays have been increasing by more than 30% per year.[4]

 

 

Contravening the LUP’s, the Status Quo Allows:

 

o      Unlimited Rentals,

o      Unlimited Guests,

o      Unlimited Water Consumption,

o      Undersized wastewater systems,

o      Increasing rents and longer commutes for workers in Monterey County,

o      Unlimited traffic increases

o      Constant Influx of Strangers in to Residential Areas

 

  • Water

o      Cal-Am will have inadequate water supply within 3 years unless the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project or equivalent is built.  There is no water for growth at this time.  Even under the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project there are only 500 acre-feet per year allocated for growth.  STR/Home Stays are currently using close to 500 acre-feet of water per year, and at a 30% annual growth rate will exceed that amount soon.

 

o      As Monterey grows and the local economy recovers, there will be no water supply for them unless Cal-Am illegally pumps water from the Carmel River, and thereby continuing the environmental damage that the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is being built to prevent.

 

o      This violates all of the Land Use Plans, and Monterey County’s filings with the Public Utility Commission in connection with the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.

 

  • Wastewater

 

o      Wastewater systems do not need to be designed and maintained for the number of guest who may be there. STR’s are advertising[5]  available occupancy levels far beyond the design capacities of LUP area water and septic systems . . . the fragile and hazardous nature of the coastal and wildland areas of our communities are susceptible to severe damage of even a single adverse event such as a sewage spill or wildfires.

 

  • A single sewage spill can do lasting damage to The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area.

 

STRs squeeze the paychecks of working families which violates the LUP’s that require provision for workforce and low income housing.

 

  • Increasing rents and longer commutes for workers in Monterey County cost working families more than $78 million per year. Paychecks have not kept pace with this increase, leaving working families to foot the bill for STR/Home Stay owners profits.

 

o      Between July 2011 and July 2018 rent on 2 bedroom apartments increased 85% from $1,195 per month to $2,216 per month.[6]

 

o      There are 70,000 rental units in Monterey County.

 

o      Some portion of this is attributable to STR/Home Stays taking affordable housing off the market.  In other cities, studies attribute between 9.2% and 33% of the rent increases to STR/Home Stays.[7]

 

o     Using the lower figure, 9.2%, the total cost to workers is $78,902,880.

 

  • Unlimited traffic increases

 

o      Short-Term renters add to traffic both directly and by taking long-term housing off the market, thereby forcing longer commutes for workers.

 

o      The Big Sur Coast Highway was declared the first State Scenic Highway in 1965. In 1996 it was designated the first All American Road under the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program. Its role in providing affordable, readily available coastal access to millions of annual visitors is recognized in the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans. The mandate to protect the quality of the recreational driving experience is likewise addressed in the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans. Management of the use and capacity of Highway I is essential to achieving the goals of the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans to provide public access to the Big Sur Coast along this scenic route and the protection of the environment and quality of the visitor experience.

 

o      The Big Sur Coast Highway is required by the California Coastal Act[8]  to be maintained as a scenic two-lane road in rural areas (south of the Carmel River). As a state and federal scenic road, the Big Sur LUP[9] addresses vehicular capacity of the highway and public access to protect environmental quality and visitor experience. Similarly, the Carmel Highlands-Riviera Master Plan seeks to preserve the scenic, rural character of that community through the use of scenic easements, retention of native vegetation, and maintenance of Highway 1 as a scenic two-lane road. However, vehicular capacities are already being exceeded on Highway 1, and visitor damage to roadside habitat is routinely reported in the press.

 

o      Carmel Area State Parks says:[10]

 

  • While not an issue limited just to CASP as a destination, transportation and parking issues have become more urgent as the popularity of parks, reserves, National Forest lands, other public open space, and tourism in the Monterey-to-Big Sur region has grown. Interrelated issues include traffic congestion, vehicle circulation, parking adequacy, and pedestrian access and safety. Currently, the vast majority of visitors must rely on personal autos as the primary transportation mode to reach CASP units and other similar destinations in the region. SR 1 becomes heavily congested during periods of substantial visitation and peak local commute times, causing mobility problems for local residents and visitors alike. Parking on the highway shoulders within the right- of-way of SR 1 near the Reserve and Coastal Area contributes to traffic congestion, creates pedestrian risks, and adds to excessive uncontrolled walk-in visitation to the Reserve.

 

 

There are more than ample rooms for rent in Monterey County. 

 

o      As STR occupancy has gone up, occupancy in licensed hotels have gone down.  A visitor to Monterey County today can choose between an STR/Home Stay, hotel, or camping ground.  It is the same visitor, paying to vacation and doing the things that vacationers do.  The potential impacts that visitors will have on water use, traffic, air quality, sewage spills environmental damage, wildfire, is the same regardless of which form of hotel they choose.

 

Monterey County and the Coastal Commission have – without exception – required the highest level of environmental scrutiny for hotel projects much smaller than this.

 

o      For example, a 231 room hotel in Seaside went through over 30 years of environmental review, and that area is next to a freeway and is significantly less environmentally sensitive than Big Sur, Carmel Highlands and Carmel Valley.[11]

 

 

The Resource Management Agency/Planning Commission publicly  announced that it does not have the personnel resources or the funding to enforce current law. This has allowed a free-for-all where property owners can operate STR’s and violate a host of LUP standards with impunity.

 

o      98% of STR’s in Monterey County are illegal and increasing at over 30% per year.  There are no enforcement efforts to stop increases or reduce the Status Quo.

 

o      With a public announcement of no enforcement, there is no downside to disobeying the law.

 

o      The Planning Commission has failed to analyze strict enforcement of the current laws, despite the fact that both City of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea have reduced illegal rentals by more than 90%. Numerous requests were made for the Planning Commission to do this analysis and present it as an option to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.[12]

 

o      City of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea both reduced illegal rentals by imposing hefty fines for advertising of illegal rentals.  Then a contractor, Host Compliance, identifies those ads, letters are sent and the advertisers fined.  The tax department then goes after them for unpaid back hotel taxes (TOT).  They report it takes 3 personnel working part time to enforce the law.

 

Whether one looks at it as one large project or thousands of individual ones, the cumulative environmental and other impacts on the County are exactly the same as if the County had approved 100 hotels the size of the Highlands Inn.

 

o      The LUP’s never contemplated that environmental damage is prohibited if it occurs at a hotel, but OK if it happens in an internet based home rental industry that did not exist at that time.

 

o      Home Stays are available generally and indiscriminately to the public – dedicated to a public, non-residential use – to serve visitors.  And while there may be confusion about the term “Visitor Serving Unit”, there is no confusion about the fact that these Home Stays serve visitors.

 

  • The impact of STR’s are dramatically above the Threshold for Significance both for Unincorporated Monterey, and even more so on a cumulative basis for the County as a whole.

 

STRs/Home Stays Conflict with applicable land use plans, policy, and regulation of agencies with jurisdiction over STR/Home Stays including, but not limited to:

 

o      The California Coastal Act, Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan – Title 20 Zoning Ordinance, Monterey County Title 21 – Inland Zoning Ordinance, Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Valley Planning Area of the Monterey County Community General Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan – Local Coastal Program, Carmel Area Coastal Implementation Program, Big Sur Land Use Plan, Big Sur Coast Land Use Plan, Highway 1 Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan, Carmel Highlands and Carmel Riviera Master Plan, Monterey County General Plan, Very High Wildfire Severity Zone (CALFIRE), ESHA, National Marine Reserve, Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) including: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area, Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, Carmel Area State Park Plan, and Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Company.

 

STR/Home Stays are proliferating in Environmentally Sensitive Habitats in violation of habitat conservation plans and natural community conservation plans.

 

o      This violates the Carmel Area Land Use Plan that requires strict Growth Management[13]

 

  • “A growth management program regulating the rate of recreational and residential development should be instituted in Carmel based upon natural resource protection constraints, the limited road capacity of Highway 1, and limited water systems capacity. Residential growth should be permitted to continue at the historic rate in order to permit adequate time for the County and other interested agencies to perform review of applications including detailed site analysis in cooperation with applicants. A sufficient volume of the County’s allotment of Cal-Am water will be reserved for coastal priority uses. The County will request the Carmel Sanitary District to reserve a sufficient proportion of its remaining wastewater treatment capacity for coastal priority uses. In addition, the issue of highway capacity will be reviewed during the implementation phase, and capacity will be reserved for coastal priority uses.”

 

o      The Carmel Area State Park states:

  • “Dramatic changes affecting the parks have continued since 1979. Visitation to the Reserve, recorded in the 1979 plan as 270,000 people per year, now exceeds 500,000 visitors arriving by auto, plus potentially several hundred thousand additional walk-in visitors. Point Lobos has become popular with both national and international tourists. Carmel River State Beach has become another popular destination, including for special events such as weddings, which take advantage of the spectacular scenery.”[14]

 

o      Most of the illegal STR’s are in the Coastal Zone and Carmel Valley.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

CEQA Requires an Environmental Impact Report if the significance of these issues above a certain threshold.   A Negative Declaration is insufficient.

 

o      The Consensus Position is consistent with the LUP’s.  The Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance are inconsistent with the LUP’s to a degree well above the Significance Threshold.

 

o      The Consensus Position does not Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan.

 

o      The Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance conflict with applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan to a degree well above the Significance Threshold.

 

 

Remaining Sections:

Definitions

Status Quo August 2018

Analysis

The Executive Summary and Status Quo sections (see above) set forth conflicts with applicable land use plans, policy, and regulation of agencies with jurisdiction over STR/Home Stays.  This “Analysis” section incorporates those, expands on some, and identifies which plans, policies and regulations are in conflict with the Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance.

  1. a) Physically divide an established community?

 

  1. b) Conflict with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan, specific plan, local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect?

 

  1. c) Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan?

 

Conclusion

Endnotes

Definitions:

LUP’s:

Collectively the, Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan – Title 20 Zoning Ordinance, Monterey County Title 21 – Inland Zoning Ordinance, Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Valley Planning Area of the Monterey County Community General Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan – Local Coastal Program, Carmel Area Coastal Implementation Program, Big Sur Land Use Plan, Big Sur Coast Land Use Plan, Highway 1 Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan,  Carmel Highlands and Carmel Riviera Master Plan, Monterey County General Plan, Carmel Area State Park Plan,   [Collectively the “LUP’s”].

Monterey County Definition of STR’s

 

The County has defined three types of STR’s:[15]

 

o      Home Stays (“Home Stay” means a short-term rental whereby the STR Operator rents bedrooms in his/her residence while the STR Operator is in residence.),

 

o      Low-Frequency STRs (Unhosted rental of no more than 12 rentals per year, maximum of 2 per month) and

 

o      STRs (Unhosted rental of more than 12 rentals per year, and/or more than 2 per month).

 

Rooms for Rent

 

Some of the LUP’s refer to these as Visitor Serving Units (“VSU’s”).  The Planning Commission views STR/Home Stays as equivalent to B&B’s that can have up to 5 bedrooms at one location, and is equal to one VSU.The Consensus Position is that one bedroom for rent equals one VSU, like with a hotel. They are also sometimes called “Visitor Accommodation Units” (Carmel Valley).

 

Status Quo August 2018

 

 

There are currently more than 1,500 Rooms illegally for Rent from STRs/Home Stays than are allowed by the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Big Sur Land Use Plan, and the Carmel Area Land Use Plan.

 

 

  • Carmel Valley

 

o      Carmel Valley allows for 110 “Visitor Units” east of Via Mallorca.

 

o      Carmel Valley had 198 listings for STR’s representing at least 600 rooms for rent. (February 2018)[16]

 

o      Less than 20 have received required permits even though there is a clear path to do so.[17]

 

o      Over 154 of the 198 STR’s in Carmel Valley representing over 500 rooms for rent are whole house rentals by absentee landlords.[18]

 

—————————————

 

  • Carmel Area Land Use Plan (Mal Paso/Carmel Highlands border with Big Sur to the area surrounding Carmel-by-the-Sea)[19]

 

o      Carmel Area Land Use Plan allows for 28 additional Rooms for Rent, all in the Point Lobos area.[20]

 

o      As of July 2018 there were 309 listings representing over 1,000 rooms in the Carmel Land Use area.[21]

 

o      Less than 20 have received required permits even though there is a clear path to do so.[22]

 

 

—————————————

 

  • Big Sur Planning Area

 

o      There are no additional Rooms-for-Rent allowed under the Big Sur LCP because the amount of traffic vastly exceeds the capacity in Big Sur, resulting in daily extended traffic jams. Big Sur traffic is severely impacted by traffic as a result of visitor accommodation increases anywhere in the general Monterey area because of it is a major worldwide visitor destination.

 

o      As of July 2018 there were 43 Listings representing over 100 rooms.[23]

 

o      Less than 20 have received required permits even though there is a clear path to do so.[24]

 

—————————————

 

  • Monterey County Total Numbers of STR’s, and Bedrooms for Rent in STR’s

 

  • Figures vary from different sources, but the contractor to Monterey County found 799 advertised rentals in January 2018.[25] There are a little over 2 bedrooms rented per site,[26] and an average of slightly over 2 people per room.[27]

 

o      In July 2018 there were 1,726 rooms for rent in Monterey County – the vast majority on the coast and in Carmel Valley.

 

o      And this vastly understates the total impact of STR on Monterey County because these figures are for the Unincorporated area only.

 

o      The County as a whole including the Cities (July 2018) had 2,073 listings that fit the STR definition – with a total of 4,478 rooms for rent.[28]  These tourists, although they may be sleeping at their rooms in Pacific Grove, Seaside, Marina or other City, go to the same places tourists who stay in hotels go.  Big Sur and Point Lobos are two of the prime tourist destinations in the world.

 

  • STRs/Home Stays are hotel equivalent businesses, not residential uses as stated by the Planning Commission.[29]

 

 

2.

 

STRs/Home Stays Conflict with applicable land use plans, policy, and regulation of agencies with jurisdiction over STR/Home Stays including, but not limited to:

 

o      The California Coastal Act, Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan – Title 20 Zoning Ordinance, Monterey County Title 21 – Inland Zoning Ordinance, Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Valley Planning Area of the Monterey County Community General Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan – Local Coastal Program, Carmel Area Coastal Implementation Program, Big Sur Land Use Plan, Big Sur Coast Land Use Plan, Highway 1 Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan,  Carmel Highlands and Carmel Riviera Master Plan, Monterey County General Plan, Very High Wildfire Severity Zone (CALFIRE), ESHA, National Marine Reserve, Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) including: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area, Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, and Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Company.

 

 

3.

 

STR/Home Stays are proliferating in Environmentally Sensitive Habitats in violation of habitat conservation plans and natural community conservation plans

 

Sensitive Habitats in High STR Areas

 

  • Many of the current illegal and potentially permitted STR’s operate septic systems directly adjacent to the National Marine Reserve.

 

  • The coastal and inland areas of the Carmel Highlands are located within or adjacent to several protected natural resource areas and designated Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) including: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area. In addition, there are several protected preserves in the inland areas as well as protected plant and animal species

 

  • The Mal Paso Creek area, the Carmel Highlands and the Big Sur Coast generally are all designated as “Very High Risk” and also as a “Very High Wildfire Severity Zone” for wildfires by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).

 

 

 

 

 

—————————————

 

 

4.

 

Contravening the LUP’s

The Status Quo Allows:

 

o      Unlimited Rentals,

o      Unlimited Guests,

o      Unlimited Water Consumption,

o      Undersized wastewater systems,

o      Increasing rents and longer commutes for workers in Monterey County,

o      Unlimited traffic increases

o      Constant Influx of Strangers in to Residential Areas  

  • Unlimited numbers of persons can stay in the home whether the owner is present or not.[30]  Guests are frequently unknown – just like a hotel.[31]  

 

 

  • Water Shortage in Monterey[32]

 

o      Cal-Am will have inadequate water supply within 3 years unless the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project or equivalent is built.  There is no water for growth at this time.  Even under the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project there are only 500 acre-feet per year allocated for growth.  STR/Home Stays are currently using close to 500 acre-feet of water per year, and at a 30% annual growth rate will exceed that amount soon.

 

o      As Monterey grows and the local economy recovers, there will be no water supply for them unless Cal-Am illegally pumps water from the Carmel River, and thereby continuing the environmental damage that the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is being built to prevent.  This violates all of the Land Use Plans, and Monterey County’s filings with the Public Utility Commission in connection with the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project

 

 

o      There are no limits on water consumption by STR/Home Stays.[33]  The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project has had to be developed because of overpumping by Cal-Am from the Carmel River.

 

o      The proposed desalination project has a maximum of 500 acre-feet per year be available for additional demand for economic recovery of Monterey.[34]

 

o      There is no provision in the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project for STRs/Home Stays.

 

o      In July 2018 there were 4,478 or more Rooms for Rent from STR/Home Stays in Monterey County.  On average there were 2.42 people per room. (discussed in detail above).  Maximum daily number of people in STRs (maximum) is 10,837.

 

o      The U.S. Geological Survey calculated in 2015 that average daily consumption per individual in our region is 82 gallons per day, of which half is used for landscaping, and the other half for personal uses.  The landscaping occurs whether a property is an STR or not, so consumption per STR guest is approximately 41 gallons per day.

 

o      Total maximum water consumption is 444,307 gallons per day by STR/Home Stay tourists.  Annually 162 million gallons which is 498 acre feet per year.

 

 

 

  • Wastewater

 

o      Wastewater systems do not need to be designed and maintained for the number of guest who may be there.[35] STR’s are advertising[36] available occupancy levels far beyond the design capacities of LUP area water and septic systems . . . the fragile and hazardous nature of the coastal and wildland areas of our communities are susceptible to severe damage of even a single adverse event such as a sewage spill or wildfires.

 

  • A single sewage spill can do lasting damage to: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area.

 

  • STRs squeeze the paychecks of working families:

 

  • Increasing rents and longer commutes for workers in Monterey County cost working families more than $78 million per year. Paychecks have not kept pace with this increase, leaving working families to foot the bill for STR/Home Stay owners profits.

 

o      Between July 2011 and July 2018 rent on 2 bedroom apartments increased 85% from $1,195 per month to $2,216 per month.[37]

 

o      There are 70,000 rental units in Monterey County.

 

o      Some portion of this is attributable to STR/Home Stays taking affordable housing off the market.  In other cities, studies attribute between 9.2% and 33% of the rent increases to STR/Home Stays.[38]

 

Using the lower figure, 9.2%, the total cost to workers is $78,902,880.

 

 

 

  • Unlimited traffic increases

 

o      Short-Term renters add to traffic both directly and by taking long-term housing off the market, thereby forcing longer commutes for workers.[39]

 

o      The Big Sur Coast Highway was declared the first State Scenic Highway in 1965. In 1996 it was designated the first All American Road under the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program. Its role in providing affordable, readily available coastal access to millions of annual visitors is recognized in the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans. The mandate to protect the quality of the recreational driving experience is likewise addressed in the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans. Management of the use and capacity of Highway I is essential to achieving the goals of the Big Sur and Carmel Highlands Land Use Plans to provide public access to the Big Sur Coast along this scenic route and the protection of the environment and quality of the visitor experience.

 

 

 

======================

 

 

 

  • A constant influx of strangers, changing weekly, stay in residential neighborhoods not zoned for hotels, causing many concerns for parents and other residents.[40]

 

o      Unlimited numbers of persons can stay in the home whether the owner is present or not.[41]   Guests are frequently unknown – just like a hotel.[42]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

The Executive Summary and Status Quo sections (see above) set forth conflicts with applicable land use plans, policy, and regulation of agencies with jurisdiction over STR/Home Stays.  This “Analysis” section incorporates those, expands on some, and identifies which plans, policies and regulations are in conflict with the Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance.

 

Would the project:

 

  1. a) Physically divide an established community? [43]

 

  1. b) Conflict with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the project (including, but not limited to the general plan, specific plan, local coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect?

 

Yes.  STRs/Home Stays Conflict with applicable land use plans, policy, and regulation of agencies with jurisdiction over STR/Home Stays including, but not limited to:

 

o     The California Coastal Act, Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan – Title 20 Zoning Ordinance, Monterey County Title 21 – Inland Zoning Ordinance, Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Valley Planning Area of the Monterey County Community General Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan – Local Coastal Program, Carmel Area Coastal Implementation Program, Big Sur Land Use Plan, Big Sur Coast Land Use Plan, Highway 1 Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan,  Carmel Highlands and Carmel Riviera Master Plan, Monterey County General Plan, Very High Wildfire Severity Zone (CALFIRE), ESHA, National Marine Reserve, Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) including: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area, Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, and Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Company.

 

 

 

There are currently more than 1,500 Rooms illegally for Rent from STRs/Home Stays than are allowed by the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Big Sur Land Use Plan , and the Carmel Area Land Use Plan.

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • The 1979 Point Lobos State Reserve and Carmel River State Beach General Plan
  • Carmel Area State Parks Preliminary General Plan and Draft EIR

 

Additionally, The Draft Ordinance and the Status Quo have the effect of, and to some extent the intent to maximize the total number of people who may visit.  The LUP’s all call for a high quality of experience on the Coast and in Carmel Valley, as opposed to maximizing the total number of people who may visit.   For example:

 

“The quality of experience offered by the Carmel coast should have precedence over the number or extent of any permitted uses, whether residential, recreational, or commercial. Any new development should complement the area and be compatible with the objective of careful resource protection and conservation. Conflicting uses should not be introduced. The achievement of these goals must involve restraint and continued responsibility. Both public and private interests will be best served by the continued preservation of the unique natural and cultural resources that make the Carmel coast a scenic jewel.”

 

The management objective of Highway 1 should be to optimize visitor use levels rather than maximize them. Future decisions pertaining to Highway 1 in the Carmel area must consider current recreational and residential use patterns and future demands for recreational use.

 

– – Carmel Area Land Use Plan[44]

 

STRs and Home Stays are commercial uses of residential zoned properties for visitor-serving that clearly conflict with both the letter and intent of dozens of  sections of the (LUPs)

 

Free International Advertising for STR’s to Hundreds of Millions of People Did not Exist When the LUP’s were Written, and Has Created a Flood of Commercial Hotel Businesses in Residential Areas.

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • Monterey County Land Use Plan including the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan, and the Big Sur Land Use Plan

 

98% of the 1700 STR/Home Stays in Monterey County are Illegal

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • Monterey County Land Use Plan including the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan, and the Big Sur Land Use Plan

 

 

Contravening the LUP’s, the Status Quo Allows Unlimited Water Consumption

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • This violates all of the Land Use Plans, and Monterey County’s filings with the Public Utility Commission in connection with the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.

 

Contravening the LUP’s, the Status Quo Allows undersized and unmaintained wastewater systems adjacent to Environmentally Sensitive Habitats

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • This violates all of the Land Use Plans, also rules pertaining to the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area.

 

Contravening the LUP’s, the Status Quo and Draft Ordinance Allows Unlimited Increases in traffic.

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • This violates all of the Land Use Plans, also California State Scenic Highway program, provisions of the All American Road under the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program, Big Sur, Carmel Valley and Carmel Area Land Use Plans, Carmel Highlands-Riviera Master Plan, Carmel Area State Parks Master Plan , and the the California Coastal Act.[45]

 

 

Whether one looks at it as one large project or thousands of individual ones, the cumulative environmental and other impacts on the County are exactly the same as if the County had approved 100 hotels the size of the Highlands Inn.

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • This violates all of the Land Use Plans

 

STR/Home Stays are proliferating in Environmentally Sensitive Habitats in violation of habitat conservation plans and natural community conservation plans.

 

Conflicts noted in the Executive and Status Quo Summaries:

 

  • This violates all of the Land Use Plans, also The Mal Paso Creek area, the Carmel Highlands and the Big Sur Coast generally are all designated as “Very High Risk” and also as a “Very High Wildfire Severity Zone” for wildfires by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).

 

 

The Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance utterly fail to meet the standards of the LUP’s. 

 

 

There is a need to establish limits in all areas private and public development in order to prevent degradation or overuse of resources. The long history of stewardship and protection of resources needs to be extended into the future to ensure the continued protection to the land and its high scenic values. Carmel Area Land Use Plan says on page 22:[46]

 

 

  1. c) Conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan?

 

SUMMARY:

 

“The high scenic and recreational values of the area have drawn increasing numbers of visitors each year to the point that existing recreational facilities are overused and sensitive coastal resources have been damaged or degraded. Intensified land use and development will inevitably create and aggravate existing problems: wildfires, floods, landslides, pollution of water and air, depletion of water resources, and further destruction of plant, animal, and marine habitats.” – – The Carmel Area Land Use Plan[47]

 

ANALYSIS:[48]

 

Significant increases in people entering “Areas Not Planned for Public Access” because of Environmental Sensitivity or Hazardous Conditions:

 

 

“Those paying to stay in STR’s often do not understand the fragile nature of our coastal environment, local environmental regulations and restrictions or the safety risks associated with the hazardous conditions that exist along our coast. This statement is not meant to be defamatory in any way, but merely acknowledges the facts as recognized within the LUP’s (see below) and borne out by our own observations; that people visiting from outside the area are just not familiar with the local environmental protection values or the necessary safety precautions. These coastal and protected areas are generally unmonitored and unsupervised which places both the tourists and the environment at risk.”[49]

 

The coastal and inland areas of the Carmel Highlands are located within or adjacent to several protected natural resource areas and designated Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) including: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area. In addition, there are several protected preserves in the inland areas as well as protected plant and animal species. It should be noted that the coastal areas inside our community are not designated as “public access” within our Carmel Area LUP and CIP due to hazardous access and ocean conditions and under provisions to limit natural resource damage as well as disturbances to residential property owners. Nevertheless, MPCPA members and other coastal residents have reported increased incidences of private property trespass and illegal activities – many associated with the tenants of these illegal STR’s. Reported environmentally destructive and hazardous activities have included: climbing on and other recreational activities causing erosion to sensitive coastal cliffs and bluffs, removal of specimens from tidepools and other protected areas, illegal camp or cooking fires, and disturbances to wildlife, including marine mammals. None of these protected areas have been studied for the adverse environmental effects resulting from the changes in the Coastal LUP to allow for STR’s and increased tourist activities within the Coastal Zone.

 

Point Lobos State Reserve and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are regularly overcrowded and, according to the Point Lobos Foundation, “… rapidly increasing numbers of well-meaning but uninformed visitors are damaging precious natural resources in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve…” [50]

 

“Point Lobos – The preserve is being degraded by over-use. Initial reports set a maximum daily attendance at about 2000 in order to avoid further degradation. Peak days last year saw upwards of 5000 visitors per day. This is unsustainable.”  – CA State Parks Regional Supervisor, Brent Marshall[51]

 

 

 

Conflict with the Carmel Area Land Use Plan, Section 5.3.2.1-8

 

For areas not appropriate or planned for public access, such access should be discouraged. Where such areas are located on private land, the County and other public agencies should cooperate with landowners to develop effective methods for directing access to appropriate locations.

 

In encouraging public access, the County desires to ensure that the privacy, safety, health, and property of residents are protected. The visiting public (which is generally unaware of the hazards presented by surf and tide) should not be directed into hazardous locations unless professional supervision is provided.

 

Conflict with the Carmel Area Land Use Plan, Section 5.3.3

 

In areas of existing or potential access where habitat and resource protection are identified as a major concern, studies should be conducted by qualified individuals or agencies to determine maximum acceptable levels of public use and methods by which resource values can best be protected. The conclusions of these studies should guide management of access at such locations.

 

Where highly sensitive plant or wildlife habitat is present, access may be inappropriate and should not be permitted.

 

Water Supply

 

The largest provider of water to Monterey County is Cal-Am.  In addition there are numerous entities like Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Co.[52] that provide well water from aquifers, and others in Big Sur and elsewhere that pump water from rivers.  Cal-Am obtains its water from a variety of sources, including the Carmel River.

 

Over pumping from rivers can have a Significant Impact on the ecosystem of the river and adjacent areas. Cal-Am is under a cutback order by the to reduce its pumping from the Carmel River because of environmental damage its overpumping caused.[53]  Judicially ordered cutbacks for Carmel River water and seawater intrusion into aquifers have resulted in water conservation requirements in numerous coastal cities.[54]

 

 

Sewage and Wastewater

 

Many of the current illegal and potentially permitted STR’s operate septic systems directly adjacent to the National Marine Reserve.

 

The coastal and inland areas of the Carmel Highlands are located within or adjacent to several protected natural resource areas and designated Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) including: The Monterey National Marine Sanctuary, The California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area, Pt. Lobos State Marine Reserve, Pt. Lobos Marine Conservation Area. In addition, there are several protected preserves in the inland areas as well as protected plant and animal species

 

Potential environmental damage from sewage and water use is likely to exceed the Significance Threshold for applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plans.

 

There have been no long-term reviews of the impact of this STR activity on our sewage systems (primarily septic), water systems (public, private and community), and other utilities. Where small units may have had 1 or 2 residents, they are now full to the brim with visitors without regard to occupancy limits. Increasingly, high end “vacation homes” which only used to be visited occasionally by their owners are now booked by visitors and groups at a much higher frequency and occupancy rate. Moreover, transient visitors paying “premium” rental fees are very likely to expect full and unencumbered use of the guest accommodation’s utilities, despite any conservation information or admonitions provided. Higher than normal occupancy rates will inevitably lead to stresses on the available infrastructure.

 

STR’s are advertising[55] available occupancy levels far beyond the design capacities of LUP area water and septic systems . . . Even with reasonable restrictions applied to any new ordinance(s), the fragile and hazardous nature of the coastal and wildland areas of our communities are susceptible to severe damage of even a single adverse event such as a sewage spill (many of the current illegal and potentially permitted STR’s operate septic systems directly adjacent to the National Marine Reserve), and other activities like recreating in sensitive tidepools that are damaging to the protected but unsupervised coastal environment.

 

 

Conflict with Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan (Chapter 20.146.050):

 

Proof of adequacy of septic systems may be required as a part of the permit application process. This proof of adequacy must document that the system is in working condition and is adequate to serve both the proposed and the existing use.[56]

 

Any parcel in the Land Use Plan area proposed for up-zoning shall be tested and approved by the county Health Department for suitability for waste disposal systems prior to approval of the new zoning. Such testing shall be at the expense of the applicant.[57]

 

Dual leach fields are required for any new development in Carmel Highlands and other areas in the Camel area Coastal Segment which are not expected to be served by sewers or package treatment plants.[58]

 

 

As noted earlier, many of the current illegal STR’s are advertising (e.g. VRBO, Airbnb, etc.) available occupancy levels far beyond the design capacities of these water and septic systems – as high as 8-12 occupants per rental. Our community has been under moratoriums of additional water connections, water rationing (see enclosed Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Co. water conservation notices), new septic system operation and construction restrictions and other development limitations (see the Carmel Highlands Onsite Wastewater Management Study.[59]  Should these occupancy levels continue or increase under a new STR ordinance with the current inadequate infrastructure conditions and over-capacities, and there is no evidence to suggest that they would not, these newly permitted activities risk potential harmful effects to the coastal environment plus additional public health and safety risks to tourists and the surrounding neighbors.

 

 

 

The Mal Paso Creek area, the Carmel Highlands and the Big Sur Coast generally are all designated as “Very High Risk” and also as a “Very High Wildfire Severity Zone” for wildfires by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).

 

Fire

 

Even with reasonable restrictions applied to any new ordinance(s), the fragile and hazardous nature of the coastal and wildland areas of our communities are susceptible to severe damage of even a single adverse event such as: . . . wildfires (there have been many illegal beach bonfires observed and reported at our local beaches and coves started by STR tenants)  . .

 

The Mal Paso Creek area, the Carmel Highlands and the Big Sur Coast generally are all designated as “Very High Risk” and also as a “Very High Wildfire Severity Zone” for wildfires by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE). As we have seen very recently and from past fires in the region, these wildfires produce tremendous damage to the environment and cause tragic loses to lives and property. These environmental impacts last for years following an event – affecting ecosystems, watersheds, infrastructure, property and lives. Out-of-the-area visitors are generally unaware of these risks and, unfortunately, often behave accordingly. The recent Soberanes fire is a prime example of this. The cause of which has been determined to be from an illegal campfire in a closed and unsupervised section of Garrapata State Park – immediately adjacent to our community. Just one week prior to the Soberanes Fire, STR tenants started a large illegal bonfire on Malpaso Creek Beach. A resident notified our Fire  Dept. who responded to put it out. Had this fire gotten out of control or left abandoned, this could have been both a human and environmental tragedy – and this has not been the only incident.

 

Conflict with Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan (Chapter 20.146.80)

 

Development shall only be permitted on areas of high to extreme (very high) fire hazards if:  …the development will not increase the threat of fire, due to the adequacy of the fire protection measures required by the Fire District and other measures required by the Planning Department.[60]  

 

 

 

Big Sur Coast Highway Protected Status as a State and Federal Scenic Road and the California Coastal Act

 

Conflict with the California Coastal Act

 

The Big Sur Coast Highway is required by the California Coastal Act[61] to be maintained as a scenic two-lane road in rural areas (south of the Carmel River). As a state and federal scenic road, the Big Sur LUP[62] addresses vehicular capacity of the highway and public access to protect environmental quality and visitor experience. Similarly, the Carmel Highlands-Riviera Master Plan seeks to preserve the scenic, rural character of that community through the use of scenic easements, retention of native vegetation, and maintenance of Highway 1 as a scenic two-lane road. However, vehicular capacities are already being exceeded on Highway 1, and visitor damage to roadside habitat is routinely reported in the press.[63]

 

 

 

 

Monterey County contains numerous environmentally sensitive terrestrial plant, wildlife, and marine habitats[64]

 

(see attached Map B – Local Coastal Program Environmentally Sensitive Habitats-Known Locations). According to The Nature Conservancy , “…southern Monterey Bay’s coastal habitats face numerous anthropogenic threats, the most significant of which are:  erosion and sediment budget disruption; trampling; and conflicting land use in the form of… residential development, commercial use (hotels and businesses)…”[65]

 

Conflict with the Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan (Chapter 20.146.120)[66]

 

All development and use of land, whether public or private, must conform to the development standards of this ordinance and must meet the same resource protection standards set forth in this ordinance. Where conflicts occur between one or more provisions of the plan, such conflicts shall be resolved in a manner which on the whole is the most protective of significant coastal resources  

 

 

Conflict with the Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan (Chapter 20.146.040)[67]

 

Land uses adjacent to locations of environmentally sensitive habitats shall be compatible with the long-term maintenance of the resource. New land uses are considered compatible only in a situation in which the proposal incorporates necessary site planning and design features which protect habitat impacts and which do not set a precedent for continued land development with the potential to degrade the resource.

 

For projects in or adjacent to environmentally sensitive habitat areas, the County shall refer projects to the California Department of Fish and Game for evaluation of impacts from development and suggested mitigations for those impacts. These impacts shall include but will not be limited to development of new or intensified land uses such as public access, recreation and associated facilities. Recommendations from the California Department of Fish and Game shall be included as conditions of project approval.

 

Concentration of recreational development or recreational activities near accessible tidepool communities shall not be permitted.

 

Conflict with the Carmel Area Land Use Plan, Section 5.3.4 (Table)[68]

 

Malpaso Creek Beach:
Sensitive habitat: riparian habitat along mouth of Malpaso Creek and small pocket beach. Discourage informal trails and heavy usage.

Carmel Highlands – Riviera (remaining shoreline):
Residential area with a history of low public use. Trespass on private property should be discouraged and low use levels maintained.
– Sensitive habitat: relatively undisturbed rocky intertidal area.
– Steep cliffs and rocky shoreline pose hazards to shoreline users.
– High fire hazard in area east of Highway One.

 

Conflict with the Carmel Area State Park Proposed General Plan[69]

 

CSP considers the needs of the native flora and fauna, rare and endangered species, sensitive habitats, the natural processes and functions that support sensitive marine, aquatic, and terrestrial communities as critical when defining approaches to manage the recreational uses and operations of CASP. The many special natural resources of the CASP units include, but are not limited to, marine mammals and birds, underwater kelp forests, freshwater lagoon and wetlands of the Carmel River, south- central California coast steelhead and California red-legged frog habitat of San Jose Creek, one of the world’s largest native Monterey pine forests, one of only two places supporting the rare Monterey and Gowen cypress, maritime chaparral, and broad areas of mountain lion habitat.

 

Conflict with the Carmel Area State Park, State Natural Reserve, as defined by Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 5019.65

 

The Reserve will continue in its current classification as a State Natural Reserve, as defined by Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 5019.65, and will continue to be managed specifically to preserve the terrestrial and marine habitats, ecological processes, sensitive species, cultural resources, and scenic qualities exemplified by the unique land and seascape of Point Lobos.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

The Consensus Position does not conflict with any applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan.

 

The Status Quo and the Draft Ordinance do Significantly Impact and conflict with applicable habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan.  The impact is above the threshold required to do an Environmental Impact Report under CEQA.  Mitigation measures are not identified and unlikely to be successful because of County budget and staffing constraints, and the very large area that would require mitigation.

 

ENDNOTES

[1] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ch0execsummary.pdf

[2] STRs and Home Stays are commercial uses of residential properties for visitor-serving purposes for which Monterey County’s land use plans (LUPs) that can be regulated by the County (Lewis v. Monterey County 2016, 15CV000782 Superior Court; Johnston v. City of Hermosa Beach 2018 B278424, California Appellate Court;).  Specific LUP’s include Monterey County Land Use Plan including the Carmel Valley Master Plan, Carmel Area Land Use Plan, and the Big Sur Land Use Plan

 

[3] The Land Use Plans regulate STR’s after the date of the Plan.  STR’s that existed before than are grandfathered and not subject to these arguments.  They were already accounted for in the LUP’s and associated environmental documents.

[4] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/airdna-report-complete-all-cities-and-regions.pdf

[5] e.g. VRBO, Airbnb, etc.)

[6] https://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-monterey-ca-rent-trends/

[7] “Between 2009 and 2016, approximately 9.2 percent of the citywide increase in rental rates can be attributed to Airbnb. . . .  Airbnb listings were heavily concentrated in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn and had a greater impact on these neighborhoods. Approximately 20% of the increase in rental rates was due to Airbnb listings in midtown and lower Manhattan . . . “

The Impact of Airbnb on NYC Rents; May 3, 2018; Scott M. Stringer, New York City Comptroller; https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/the-impact-of-airbnb-on-nyc-rents/   – –

 

And also see “Airbnb listings are concentrated in just seven of the city’s densest, most expensive neighborhoods: Venice, Downtown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Echo Park, and Silver Lake. These tourist destinations account for nearly half of Airbnb listings, and 69% of all Airbnb-generated revenue in Los Angeles.   In 2014, rents in these neighborhoods were 20% higher, and increased 33% faster, than rents citywide. . . .    Airbnb indirectly reduces the affordable housing supply by reducing the overall housing supply. As a result, the pressure that STRs place on rent prices pushes units out of the margins of affordability for low- and middle-income residents, an effect that cascades throughout the city. In 2014, Airbnb removed 1% of the units from Los Angeles’s rental market— and substantially more in some neighborhoods—while monthly rents in- creased by 7.3%. And by reducing the overall housing supply, Airbnb is partially responsible for the citywide rent increases that further reduce the supply of affordable housing.” How Airbnb Short-Term Rentals Exacerbate Los Angeles’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Analysis and Policy Recommendations; Dayne Lee; Harvard Law & Policy Review; Vol. 10; 2016

 

[8] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/california-coastal-act.pdf

 

[9] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/big-sur-coast-land-use-plan.pdf

[10] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/carmel-area-state-parks-preliminary-general-plan-and-draft-eir/

[11] “A neighboring proposed Sand City eco-resort project received coastal commission approval this year after two decades of effort . . .  Like Ghandour’s Monterey Bay Shores resort, the King Ventures project, dubbed “The Collections,” has gone through numerous iterations and attempts to gain the commission’s approval that span decades.  The commission first denied a permit for a 229-unit Sand City-approved project on the site in 1986. In 1989, the city approved a 136-unit project, but a lawsuit challenged its compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. Next, the city approved a similar project in 1990. The coastal commission approved the project with special conditions in 1991, but a Monterey County court found problems with environmental documents. The city updated the environmental documents in 1993 and re-approved the project. The commission approved it with special conditions in 1994, but asked that an alternative water source be found instead of a city-run desalination plant. After years of setbacks, the commission declined to extend the project in 1999, saying circumstances had changed.”   https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/articles-about-ceqa-review-of-hotel-projects-in-monterey/

 

[12] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/response-to-record-acts-request/

[13] Carmel LUP sec 6.2.2, page 116

[14] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/carmel-area-state-parks-preliminary-general-plan-and-draft-eir/

[15] Draft Ordinance Version: 2017.11.08; https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/attachment-6-preliminary-draft-str-ordinance.pdf

[16] Although STR’s in Carmel Valley have been legal under some circumstances [see – https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/title-21-inland-administrative-permits-for-transient-use-of-residential-property.pdf], the premise of the change was that STRs were largely spare bedrooms rented on occasion by an owner-occupant.  This has proven to be wrong.  Over 154 of the STR’s in Carmel Valley representing over 500 rooms for rent are whole house rentals by absentee landlords.  See https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/carmel-valley-supports-bishop-ordinance-for-monterey-county/

[17] Staff Dicussion https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/attachment-1-discussion.pdf

[18] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/carmel-valley-supports-bishop-ordinance-for-monterey-county/

[19] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/demographic-data/

[20] Local Coastal Program certified (by the Coastal Commission) April 14, 1983 and https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/critical-chart-summarizing-limits-to-visitor-serving-units-in-carmel-highlands-and-nearby-areas/

[21] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/host-compliance-carmel-area-and-big-sur-land-use-area-data-07-15-2018.pdf

[22] Staff Discussion https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/attachment-1-discussion.pdf

[23] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/host-compliance-carmel-area-and-big-sur-land-use-area-data-07-15-2018.pdf

 

[24] Staff Discussion https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/attachment-1-discussion.pdf

[25] Host Compliance Report, Monterey County Planning Commission Agenda Item No. 2; Legistar File Number: PC 18-009; REF100042/REF130043 – SHORT-TERM RENTAL CODE COMPLIANCE: January 31, 2018

[26] The actual number of rooms per STR is 2.16; https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/airdna-report-complete-all-cities-and-regions.pdf

[27] The actual number of people per room per STR is 2.42; https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/airdna-report-complete-all-cities-and-regions.pdf

[28] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/host-compliance-monterey-county-report-2018-07-24_21-07-21.pdf

[29] Court Holding STR Not a Residential Use2018 BCSC 752 Nanaimo (Regional District) v. Saccomani; Malibu_s Summer Rental Market Booms – WSJ; WSJ Report on AirBnB March 2017; Top bunk for $30 a day: Life inside one of Airbnb_s modern boardinghouses – The Washington Post; New York City loft-dweller fined $185K for tourist rentals – San Francisco Chronicle; Landlords turned 14 SF apartments into illegal Airbnbs, city attorney says – San Francisco Chronicle; Home-Sharing Hosts Turn to Online Property Management Firms for Help – WSJ; Rental sites like Airbnb aren’t as innocuous as they pretend – LA Times ; The Business Tycoons of Airbnb – NYTimes.com  ; Hosts with Multiple Units – A Key Driver of Airbnb Growth  ; Taking the Work Out of Short-Term Rentals – The New York Times; How to Run an Airbnb Business from Anywhere in the World! – YouTube; How to Bring the Hotel Spa to Your Airbnb – The New York Times

 

[30] “In Anaheim, on West Skywood Circle, a six-bedroom home about six miles from Disneyland rents for an average of $617 a night. Under city code, the home can accommodate no more than 20 people. But in a recent online review, a tenant bragged about squeezing 34 people into the home.” https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/a-surge-in-short-term-rentals-means-no-rr-for-some-anaheim-residents.pdf

 

[31] https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/523/what-is-instant-book

[32] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/puc-decision-regional-desal-project.pdf

 

[33] CV-3.20  A discretionary permit shall be required for new wells in the Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer. All new wells shall be required to fully offset any increase in extractions from this aquifer (see Policies PS-3.4 and PS-3.5). These requirements shall be maintained until such a time that the Coastal Water project (or its equivalent) results in elimination of all Cal-Am withdrawals in excess of its legal rights. Monterey County General Plan Carmel Valley Master Plan October 26, 2010 – Amended as of February 12, 2013 Page, CVMP-1

 

[34] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/puc-decision-regional-desal-project.pdf

 

[35] Carmel Valley Policy #43 – Valley Wastewater Study.  The Carmel Valley aquifer may be susceptible to contamination from development in unsewered areas. Projects on existing lots of record shall be carefully reviewed for proper siting and design of sewage disposal facilities so as to meet the standards of the Carmel Valley Wastewater Study. This Study is hereby incorporated into this Plan by reference. Carmel Valley Planning Area/Monterey County Community General Plan https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/community-general-plan-area-plans-e28093-carmel-valley.pdf  also  http://www.landwatch.org/pages/pubs05/cgp/pdfs/20CarmelValleyAreaPlan.pdf

 

[36] e.g. VRBO, Airbnb, etc.

[37] https://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-monterey-ca-rent-trends/

[38] “Between 2009 and 2016, approximately 9.2 percent of the citywide increase in rental rates can be attributed to Airbnb. . . .  Airbnb listings were heavily concentrated in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn and had a greater impact on these neighborhoods. Approximately 20% of the increase in rental rates was due to Airbnb listings in midtown and lower Manhattan . . . “

The Impact of Airbnb on NYC Rents; May 3, 2018; Scott M. Stringer, New York City Comptroller; https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/the-impact-of-airbnb-on-nyc-rents/   – –

 

And also see “Airbnb listings are concentrated in just seven of the city’s densest, most expensive neighborhoods: Venice, Downtown, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Echo Park, and Silver Lake. These tourist destinations account for nearly half of Airbnb listings, and 69% of all Airbnb-generated revenue in Los Angeles.   In 2014, rents in these neighborhoods were 20% higher, and increased 33% faster, than rents citywide. . . .    Airbnb indirectly reduces the affordable housing supply by reducing the overall housing supply. As a result, the pressure that STRs place on rent prices pushes units out of the margins of affordability for low- and middle-income residents, an effect that cascades throughout the city. In 2014, Airbnb removed 1% of the units from Los Angeles’s rental market— and substantially more in some neighborhoods—while monthly rents in- creased by 7.3%. And by reducing the overall housing supply, Airbnb is partially responsible for the citywide rent increases that further reduce the supply of affordable housing.” How Airbnb Short-Term Rentals Exacerbate Los Angeles’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Analysis and Policy Recommendations; Dayne Lee; Harvard Law & Policy Review; Vol. 10; 2016

 

[39] Carmel Valley Policy #14 – Traffic Triggers  If and when any segment of Carmel Valley Road degrades to LOS D, there shall be a freeze on all new development in Carmel Valley.    Carmel Valley Planning Area/Monterey County Community General Plan https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/community-general-plan-area-plans-e28093-carmel-valley.pdf  also http://www.landwatch.org/pages/pubs05/cgp/pdfs/20CarmelValleyAreaPlan.pdf

 

Also e) Also at five year intervals the County shall examine the degree to which estimates of changes in Levels of Service (“LOS”) in the Carmel Valley Master Plan Area may be occurring earlier than predicted in the General Plan Environmental Impact Report. If the examination indicates that LOS are likely to fall to a lower letter grade than predicted for 2030, then the County shall consider adjustments to the cap on new residential units established in Policy CV-1.6 and/or the cap on new visitor serving units established in Policy CV-1.15 or other measures that may reduce the impacts, including, but not limited to, deferral of development that would seriously impact traffic conditions . . . Monterey County General Plan Carmel Valley Master Plan October 26, 2010 – Amended as of February 12, 2013 Page, CVMP-1

 

[40] 9. To strengthen the ties of community and viable neighborhoods in Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley Planning Area/Monterey County Community General Plan https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/community-general-plan-area-plans-e28093-carmel-valley.pdf  also  http://www.landwatch.org/pages/pubs05/cgp/pdfs/20CarmelValleyAreaPlan.pdf

 

[41] “In Anaheim, on West Skywood Circle, a six-bedroom home about six miles from Disneyland rents for an average of $617 a night. Under city code, the home can accommodate no more than 20 people. But in a recent online review, a tenant bragged about squeezing 34 people into the home.” https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/a-surge-in-short-term-rentals-means-no-rr-for-some-anaheim-residents.pdf

 

[42] https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/523/what-is-instant-book

[43] The Consensus Position, Status Quo November 2018, and the Draft Ordinance do not physically divide communities.  To the extent that may happen in isolated circumstances such physical division is likely to be mitigatable

 

[44] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/carmel-area-land-use-plan-local-coastal-program.pdf; page 22

[45] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/california-coastal-act.pdf

[46] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/carmel-area-land-use-plan-local-coastal-program.pdf

[47] (updated 11/23/1999), section 2.1

[48] The Analysis draws heavily and quotes extensively Mal Paso Creek Property Association Comments for the record to the Monterey County Planning Commission, Public Workshop regarding proposed Short-Term Rental ordinance July 02, 2018.

 

[49] Mal Paso Creek Property Association Comments for the record to the Monterey County Planning Commission, Public Workshop regarding proposed Short-Term Rental ordinance July 02, 2018

 

[50] https://www.pointlobos.org/plan-your-visit/general-info/be-considerate-visitor

[51] See also https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/point-lobos-overuse-taking-a-toll-on-the-environment.pdf

[52] Carmel Riviera Mutual Water Company principally provides water to the Mal Paso and Yankee Point communities

[53] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/puc-decision-regional-desal-project.pdf

[54] http://www.landwatch.org/pages/issuesactions/waterissues.html

[55] e.g. VRBO, Airbnb, etc.)

[56] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/monterey-county-coastal-implementation-plan-carmel-area-land-use-chapter-20-146.pdf  (Ref. Policy 2.4.4. B. 3 Water Pollution Control). (CML-23)

[57] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/monterey-county-coastal-implementation-plan-carmel-area-land-use-chapter-20-146.pdf  (Ref. Policy 2.4.4.B.4 Water Pollution Control). (CML-26)

[58] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/monterey-county-coastal-implementation-plan-carmel-area-land-use-chapter-20-146.pdf  (Ref. Policy 2.4.4.B.6 Water Pollution Control). (CML-27).

[59] http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/home/showdocument?id=46532

[60] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/monterey-county-coastal-implementation-plan-carmel-area-land-use-chapter-20-146.pdf (CML-48).

[61] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/california-coastal-act.pdf

[62] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/big-sur-coast-land-use-plan.pdf

[63] Big Sur bathroom problem mucking up private driveways. https://www.ksbw.com/article/big-sur-bathroom-problem-mucking-up-private-driveways/19581331

Better Signs Hope To Help Big Sur’s Bathroom Problem http://www.kazu.org/post/better-signs-hope-help-big-surs-bathroom-problem

 

[64] see  Map “Local Coastal Program Environmentally Sensitive Habitats-Known Locations” https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/carmel-area-map-b-local-coastal-program-environmentally-sensitive-habitats-known-locations.pdf

[65] http://coastalresilience.org/project/monterey-bay/

[66] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/monterey-county-coastal-implementation-plan-carmel-area-land-use-chapter-20-146.pdf ((Ref. Policy 4.4.2.7). (CML-57); and (Ref. Policy 2.3.3.10). (CML-16)

[67] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/monterey-county-coastal-implementation-plan-carmel-area-land-use-chapter-20-146.pdf – (Ref. Policy 2.3.3.2). (CML-16); also  (Ref. Policy 2.3.4; Wetlands and Marine Habitats Policy #5). (CML-20)

[68] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/carmel-area-land-use-plan-local-coastal-program.pdf

[69] https://preservemontereyneighborhoods.community/carmel-area-state-parks-preliminary-general-plan-and-draft-eir/